Home » Social Media » The Modernization of Publishing Novels: Harkening Back to the Readership

The Modernization of Publishing Novels: Harkening Back to the Readership




Websites like <www.wattpad.com> allow writers to post their novels online and make changes to novels from online reader responses. Writers have the opportunity to access reviews from their target audience online. Why submit novels to large publishing companies that subject the novel to rigorous subjective reviews, when writers can now publish independently and instantaneously through the online e-book format? If a writer’s book is incredibly popular with the online community or receives a great number of ebook sales the writer will find publishing companies eager to publish a book that has a loyal reader following interested in buying the book. The growing influence of readers is not “new,” but it is something which was a part of the process when typewriters first revolutionized the book printing process. According to prolific Canadian writer, Margaret Atwood, networks and communities like Wattpad are “not a replacement for publishers, but a gateway leading to them” [1].

After the invention of typewriters, novels were written in a style that was influenced by the new medium in which text was delivered. Rather than buying a book that was completed, readers would buy a magazine which would contain the first installment or set of chapters. Writers would receive comments from their readership that would include helpful information before or during the creation of the next chapters. Which characters are favorites? Are readers upset that dear “John” was killed off? Perhaps the author might decide that it would be wise to bring “John” back to life in a twist during the next installment. Readers would have had great influence over the plot of a story, and now they do again! Margaret Atwood affirms that Wattpad “…recreates the kind of process that writers like Charles Dickens got when they serialized their work…” [1]. The publishing process that writers must go through to get their work published is changing, mainly due to the influence of a large online reader community.


[1] Ingram, Mathew (July 2012). Marget Atwood on Wattpad and the value of taking risks [Online]. Available: http://gigaom.com/2012/07/09/margaret-atwood-on-wattpad-and-the-value-of-taking-risks/


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